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Randall Broad on the Importance of Two-Way Communication Between Cancer Patients and Their Physicians


In response to listener requests for more patient stories on The Precision Medicine Podcast, we invited Randall Broad, 10-year cancer survivor and patient advocate to join us. Randall (Randy) currently partners with Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to produce a healthcare focus program called C-Sessions. During these “C-Sessions,” Randy and Dr. Lyman discuss a variety of subjects related to communication between patients and physicians in an effort to facilitate mutual understanding and improved outcomes.


We wanted to learn more about C-Sessions, but we started our discussion by asking Randy to rewind 10 years and share his own experience as a newly diagnosed lung cancer patient with stage III non-small cell lung cancer. Sadly, his early interactions with his community hospital were rife with poor communication and a lack of empathy on the part of treating physicians. Randy was forced to act as his own advocate as he searched for a healthcare provider that was both qualified and compassionate. Ultimately, that search led him to the doctor that kept him alive—a fact which many oncologists he’s since met have called an anomaly.


As a result of that experience, Randy became passionate about patient advocacy, and he went on to found C-Sessions in an effort to promote transparency in the cancer conversation. He notes that, because of their training, many doctors speak a different language than patients, and his goal with C-Sessions is to help break that barrier down and improve the way options are presented to patients who often take what is said at face value without seeking a second opinion.


Randy also points out that with the continued growth of precision medicine, patients may have more options for treating their cancers, but only if they are willing to ask questions and self-advocate. As he says, “It's really important that patients do self-advocate and be as engaged in this process as they can possibly be. Again, when you hear the words for the first time, ‘You have cancer,’ I know it's a daunting situation, but it's so important and it can be the difference between life and death.”


Listen to the full episode above to hear more about Randy’s inspiring mission. You can also find his book It's an Extraordinary Life: Don't Miss It on Amazon to learn more about his personal journey with cancer.

Download the full transcript of the episode here (pdf).


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About Our Guest

Randall Broad

President and Founder of Opal Enterprises, Inc.

Randall Broad is an entrepreneur, business founder, and the guiding force behind several successful enterprises. After working as a salesman in the aerospace industry, he moved to Hollywood to embrace his dream of being an actor, making several commercials and being employed as a leading man stunt double.

In 1990, Randall Broad founded Opal Enterprises, a marketing services company focused on maximizing client resources by building and managing successful partner integration programs.

A cancer survivor, Randall Broad now takes the stage professionally to share his views and lessons on living a work/life balanced existence. When he’s not speaking or working with clients, he enjoys investing in real estate and exploring the world with his two children. In It’s an Extraordinary Life, he has chronicled his experiences and adventures for future generations to learn from and enjoy. He lives in Kirkland, WA with his son and daughter, Riley and Emily.

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